Tonight I'm at the Motel Beausejour - Chez Raymond. I stopped here because it is the only accommodation listed in the NB guide for this area and because I was too tired and cold to go much further. The motel 'cabins' are cheap ($35 CD + tax, about $41 total) and adequate - much nicer than many motels I've paid a lot more for in the USA. The restaurant is excellent and also quite reasonable. I had a good (and filling) supper with a glass of decent wine for less than $10 CD. I'm impressed and looking forward to breakfast.
Today started and ended with extended riding into headwinds. The ones coming off of Miramichi Bay this afternoon (for the last 26 miles of my ride) were especially strong. They were also quite cold: The Acadian Peninsula is famous for its cold winds. I hope they are weaker tomorrow since I still have 100 miles or so of this peninsula to ride. At 10 mph, which is about what I was able to average for the last part of my ride today, that would make a very long, and hard, day.
As is evident in the names of the places, this is Acadian Country. I'm often spoken to in french and also am often the only non french speaking person in a shop or restaurant. It feels a little strange, but almost everybody, except me (!), is bilingual so it is not a problem. Also, unlike some of the Quebecois, the Acadian folks are quite friendly to non french speakers. At last nights B+B stay (J+J B+B, nice with a great breakfast as well as a really nice strawberry tort for desert last night -yum.) I was the only guest not from Quebec and one of the guests was definitely a language bigot. He finally, almost as I was leaving this morning, spoke to me in English.
Other than head winds, which I better get used to since I'm definitely going the 'wrong' way on this part of my trip, today's riding was easy. NB is the flattest place I've ever ridden - I only needed my granny gear on one bridge, a neat bridge going over Miramichi Bay, all day. And that is despite riding into 10 to 25 mph winds most of the day.
Despite its flatness, it is pretty nice riding. I alternated between 'back roads' and 'highway' today. The back roads are more scenic and less noisy, but they are also slower and much bumpier. The TCH is not bad riding and, except for some areas of construction, is pretty smooth. There is a good to adequate shoulder all the way along the TCH except for a few short bridges where they put unrideable sidewalks most of the way across the shoulder. I saw some of those in NS as well, and once I simply had to wait for a gap in the traffic before I crossed a bridge. Those semis would have minced me. Traffic isn't as heavy here, so I just had to make sure there were no overtaking trucks when I rode those bridges. Speaking of overtaking trucks, I was passed by a bunch of them while crossing the Miramichi Bay bridge. It wasn't unsafe, as long as I didn't wobble to much! That wouldn't have happened in NS, the truck drivers would have stayed behind me till I was over the bridge.
I met several bicycle tourists today and said hello in passing to several more. Highway 11, which is the TCH here, seems to be a main drag for Canadian tourists. One of the tourists I visited with is Acadian, but now lives in Calgary. He argued quite effectively that I should visit the Historique Acadien (Acadian Village) which is located on this peninsula. He also gave me use of his aunts cottage on the other side of the peninsula if I wanted to stop there! He did mention that the winds would be 'stiff' coming this way. Stiff, yeah, like the flags are rigid and pointed right down the road....
I also noticed that the winds here (well NB Atlantic shore, not on the peninsula) shift around from the west (headwind) to the east (tailwind) by 3 or 4 PM. So, for going east, get up early and quit early, and for going west, take it easy in the morning and ride late in the evening.